Artist: Blind Lemon Pledge

Album: Pledge Drive

Genre(s): Blues, Rock

Blind Lemon Pledge is back with Pledge Drive that really mixes it up with respect to sights, sounds and genres. From a stalker’s mad rendition, civil rights-inspired tracks to the impact of Katrina and the beat of a washboard, it lowers a window to it all.

Track Rating
1.       Run John Run ★★★★☆
2.       Moon Madness ★★★★½
3.       Nag Nag Nag ★★★½☆
4.       Cora Lee ★★★½☆
5.       Birmingham Walk ★★★☆☆
6.       5 Weeks of Heaven ★★★☆☆
7.       She Broke the Ten Commandments ★★★½☆
8.       You Can’t Get There From Here ★★★★½
9.       O Katrina ★★★½☆
10.   You Know You Really Got The Blues ★★★☆☆
11.   Kokomo ★★★½☆
12.   Railroad Mama ★★★½☆

 

  1. Run John Run

The beats of this song seem to have a personality of their own; adding sass to a runaway slave, John’s journey to freedom. The lyrics give life to a vivid Southern adventure that you’ll instantly want to be in on.

  1. Moon Madness

The vocals are a rasp, the kind that you know you should be running away from! The harp work adds to the ambience of this ultra-creepy tale of stalkery. “I’m crazy for your love/got the moon in my eyes (…) it’s just a touch of moon madness”, the stalke- singer croons. The lyrics are weirdly dazzling in the silhouette-style imagery they evoke in you. You almost forget to shudder!

  1. Nag Nag Nag

This track, with its hammering piano and boisterous vocals, is a New Orleans-style track about a lover who nags too much. While the arrangement is extremely mature, you can’t help but smile at the lyrics; that seem like an adolescent rant taken to artistic proportions. Hats off to this one!

  1. Cora Lee

This song is soulful, the vocals bringing out the agony and anguish of a lost love. You are instantly sucked into the singer’s drama. While the lyrics highlight how miserable the singer is, the flute solo seems to bring out the what’s left of his love; his affection for his dear Cora Lee that’s now tinged with melancholy.

  1. Birmingham Walk

Birmingham Walk is another civil rights-inspired song, with drawn-out, purposeful vocals. The song is about the sit-ins, and has a very wholesome, anthemic sound to it.

  1. 5 Weeks of Heaven

An extremely catchy number, with lyrics that rock almost as much as the beat! The sax adds a nice twist to the background instrumentals, really jazzing it up. It’s an involving take on a passionate fling that ends up being a lot more trouble than anticipated.

  1. She Broke The Ten Commandments

Continuing the theme of broken hearts and miserable endings, this song entices you with its harmonica riffs. It lends a sweetness to the vocals doubling as bitter curses & rants, that you can’t help but nod along to.

  1. You Can’t Get There From Here

The singer’s vocals are practically caresses, as he makes you pause and listen to what he has to say. He speaks to a lover, shutting the door on her re-entering his life. It’s fascinating how even the meanest lines come across gentle in this soft jazz ballad to someone who was once very much “here”.

  1. O Katrina

A highly romanticized and riveting take on Hurricane Katrina. The song’s raw & edgy vocals and electric guitar-driven instrumentals help drive the point home. The arrangement quite literally blows you away!

  1. You Know You Really Got The Blues

This song wails, in its slide guitar work and lyrical content. It really goes all out, and wouldn’t have worked out any other way. While it’s not a personal favorite, it holds its own in terms of style; that transforms every whine to art.

  1. Kokomo

Kokomo wastes no time in getting to the point, opening with: “I lost my job again!” It has a wonderful arrangement, one that really gets the story going, especially at the instrumental solo! The subtleties in the vocals, in terms of rage, anguish and general movement expressed, are complemented by the background instrumentals.

  1. Railroad Mama

This is a fun, merry song, with very unique spoons, washtub, banjo & harmonica-driven instrumentation; a fun jug band imitation. It’s a treat to the ears, especially the spoon-rhythm and the infectious lyrics.

Verdict: Pledge Drive takes you on a unique, diverse musical journey, leaving you with plenty of wisdom and tunes to hum along to!

Picks of the album: Moon Madness, You Can’t Get There From Here

Overall rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆